Synopsis: A fast-paced story about a youngster who loses everything and everyone he holds dear. Through the only family that still remains with him, his uncle, he gets to choose to dedicate his focus and attention to blacksmithing rather than to fall into depression and street life...
Looking for Authors for Exclusive positions! Paid. DM the Admin on Discord if you're interested. LINK
Not just Grandpa Ji, even Ji Yan, who was aware of Nuo Nuo’s talent, was astonished. Although he knew Nuo Nuo’s talent, he never expected her to assemble an unfamiliar and complex object within a minute. Even adults in the special forces required a while to know how to assemble a gun. She was even quicker than some soldiers who had served for a few years.
Nuo Nuo’s talent was clearly frightening.
As a witness, Sun Yi was flabbergasted and he looked at Ji Yan, “Your family’s little girl… she…” Sun Yi temporarily couldn’t find a suitable word to describe Nuo Nuo. He only knew that if he didn’t witness it himself, he wouldn’t believe such a child really existed. Such a thing was usually only seen in television dramas.
Ji Yan’s lips twitched.
Even though Grandpa Ji didn’t say anything, the way he looked at Nuo Nuo suddenly became complicated. After a while, he didn’t speak and took the gun from Nuo Nuo’s hands. Then, he personally dismantled another gun until it was down to its components. This time, he didn’t do any demonstration and pushed the pile of components to Nuo Nuo while saying, “Try to assemble this.”
Nuo Nuo blinked in confusion but she obediently took a piece and examined it. After a few seconds, she picked up different pieces and started to assemble. Her hands were steady even under everyone’s gazes. Her speed picked up as she pieced each component together. There were no pauses or errors. Just like that, Nuo Nuo finished assembling a complicated gun that she had never seen before within a minute.
The room suddenly went silent. It was so quiet that even a drop of a needle could be heard. Everyone stared at the cute little girl who was sitting on a wooden bench. For a moment, the feelings they had couldn’t be described with words.
Seeing that everyone was staring at her, Nuo Nuo felt a little lost. She didn’t know what was happening so she couldn’t help but pull on Ji Xiao Zhuo’s sleeve nervously.
In response, Ji Xiao Zhuo held her hand with one hand and patted her with another to pacify her. He asked everyone puzzledly, “Why are you all looking at Nuo Nuo like that? Is something wrong?”
Grandpa Ji suddenly smiled with his hands behind his back and replied, “It’s nothing. It’s just that I haven’t seen such a clever child like Nuo Nuo before.”
After hearing that, Ji Xiao Zhuo was a bit annoyed and pouted. He stuck a finger out and pointed at himself, “What do you mean you’ve never seen one before? What about me?”
Everyone was amused by the arrogant little kid. Grandpa Ji patted his head and educated, “One needs to be modest!”
But when he turned to Nuo Nuo, Grandpa Ji’s voice became a lot kinder and asked, “Nuo Nuo, do you want to play with other guns? Great-grandpa has a lot more at home.”
Nuo Nuo’s eyes brightened. Eagerness flashed across her eyes as she pursed her lips and nodded shyly, “I want to.”
Grandpa Ji turned to speak to the guard, “Return to my study and bring more over for Nuo Nuo to play.”
The guard saluted respectfully and quickly left without delay. Honestly, he also wanted to see how much more that mystical little girl could do.
Nuo Nuo understood Grandpa Ji’s words. She knew he was going to get more good things for her to play with. Subconsciously, she looked at Grandpa Ji with admiration. Great-grandpa was really nice. He didn’t mind her dismantling and assembling things. He was even giving her many more things to play with. It would be good if he would always be her great-grandpa.
Ji Xiao Zhuo had taught her to be very open. To thank someone was to kiss them. So she went to Grandpa Ji’s side and pulled on his trousers, Grandpa Ji followed and bent down. Then Nuo Nuo gave him a kiss and thanked him, “Thank you, great grandpa.”
A milky scent surrounded him and her sweet voice could melt those who heard her. Even Grandpa Ji who lived for many years and was part of the revolutionary army had his heart melted by the little girl. He couldn’t help but lift her up, “No need to thank me. This is nothing to thank for. There is no need to be so polite with great-grandpa, just like Xiao Zhuo.”
Ji Xiao Zhuo agreed from the side, “That’s right. Don’t be so polite. Great-grandpa is different from your daddy and step mummy. Don’t be afraid and play with anything. It doesn’t matter even if it breaks.”
“Xiao Zhuo is correct. From now on, just tell great-grandpa what you want to play. We’ll just buy new ones if things break.”
Nuo Nuo buried her face into Grandpa Ji’s shoulder and smiled to herself. She felt extremely blessed. It would be good if she was auntie and uncle’s child.
With Grandpa Ji’s words, Nuo Nuo didn’t feel as afraid inside. When the guard came back with Grandpa Ji’s collection, she couldn’t restrain her restlessness. She quickly started assembling the military weapon that had been dismantled. Instantly, she got engrossed and entered her own world. She was clearly very happy at the moment.
Grandpa Ji watched quietly with his hands clasped behind his back. He watched Nuo Nuo rapidly assemble the objects that usually only a professional marksman could do. Grandpa Ji’s eyes were blazing and his gaze was on the little girl. He saw hope for the mainland’s future.
Powerful youngsters meant a powerful country. With children like Nuo Nuo, who can say the country’s future would deteriorate?
By the time Nuo Nuo finished assembling everything, Grandpa Ji didn’t say anything. He just let Tang Tang and the guard go down to buy some food and play around. Sun Yi could tell Grandpa Ji had something to say so he tactfully left the ward to enjoy the sun. Only Grandpa Ji and Ji Yan remained in the room.
This time, it was Grandpa Ji who took the initiative and spoke calmly with Ji Yan, “That girl’s talent isn’t average.”
“She is the most talented child I have ever seen.”
Something flashed across Grandpa Ji’s eyes and he mumbled softly, “Our country’s military has always lacked talent in this area. If Nuo Nuo can make a breakthrough in the future…”
Ji Yan understood Grandpa Ji’s unspoken meaning but he shook his head, “These are our own ideas. She will decide her future on her own. It’s fine as long as she’s happy. Her talent is not a tool for us to reach some goal.”
Those words stumped Grandpa Ji. He smiled bitterly after a while, “You’re right. I thought too much. It should depend on the child’s wishes. No one can decide her life. We as elders should only give support when she needs us.”
Ji Yan lifted the corner of his lips in response, “Just like how you treated me. You never meddled with my principles. It was fine as long as I liked it and you always supported me.”
Grandpa Ji felt uncomfortable from the sudden ‘confession’ and cleared his throat. He stiffened his face and changed the topic, “You still haven’t told me how you are going to resolve Nuo Nuo’s matter? This matter must be resolved! That girl is still young and has been made deaf. You absolutely cannot let this matter go simply!”
Ji Yan didn’t expose him and replied to his question, “I got someone to find Nuo Nuo’s biological mother. Her mother was forced to leave by Wen Zhang Yi’s current wife, Liu Zi Xuan. In fact, he was already having an affair before he got a divorce. I gave Nuo Nuo’s mother evidence of it. No matter where the evidence goes. It won’t be good for both Wen Zhang Yi and the Liu family.”
“That hits the spot.” Satisfaction flashed across Grandpa Ji’s eyes. He immediately understood Ji Yan’s plans, “Using the girl’s mother to get justice for Nuo Nuo is not a bad idea. No one can say anything then. Also, the Liu family would certainly be afraid of her exposing the past. They would want to keep the matter quiet so they’ll have to accept the threat. But would the girl’s mother really be willing to come? I heard she never came back for Nuo Nuo before.”
“Nuo Nuo’s mother got remarried to an ordinary primary school teacher. They live very far from here. Originally, she had no choice but to go somewhere far away because she was afraid of Liu’s family power. Then, she had a new family and child so naturally, she won’t keep thinking about Nuo Nuo. She certainly has a grudge against Wen Zhang Yi and the Liu family but she doesn’t dare to do anything because of the Liu family’s power so she never came back in all these years. However, her current child is sick and she needs money urgently.”
Grandpa Ji frowned and some anger could be heard in his voice, “So the girl’s mother was only willing to come because of money?”
Ji Yan went silent.
Grandpa Ji was so angry he slammed his walking stick, “Is her current child much more important than Nuo Nuo? Why hasn’t she ever come back to see her daughter after all these years!? Only now that she needs money, she comes back?”
Ji Yan thought it was probably because Nuo Nuo’s father had hurt her. To forget a person, sometimes one would need to forget everything related to that person. Nuo Nuo was probably lumped together with what she wanted to forget.
Naturally, Grandpa Ji was also aware of the reason. After being angry for a while, he said, “Would Nuo Nuo be able to accept that woman when she comes? I can see that even though she doesn’t like speaking, her mind will understand the things around her. That girl is too clever.”
Ji Yan was also worried about that. He didn’t want Nuo Nuo’s mood to be affected but he didn’t know if this could be avoided. Currently, his only hope was Ji Xiao Zhuo. Nuo Nuo listened to him the most. Maybe that kid could really console Nuo Nuo.
Grandpa Ji also found it funny. For an unknown reason, a well-behaved child like Nuo Nuo would listen to whatever Ji Xiao Zhuo said. Fortunately, Ji Xiao Zhuo treated Nuo Nuo well. If that kid was bad, Nuo Nuo probably wouldn’t even complain if she got sold off by him.
It seemed like he needed to spank Ji Xiao Zhuo more in the future. He must not let that naughty kid bully Nuo Nuo.
Nuo Nuo was a good child. She loved helping Tang Tang out. Every time Tang Tang went to do something, she would always hold Tang Tang’s hand and go with her. Nuo Nuo was afraid Tang Tang would get tired from working alone which made Tang Tang want to dote on her more.
At present, Tang Tang needed to go to get water. Seeing this, Nuo Nuo immediately abandoned Ji Xiao Zhuo and ran off. She reached out her arms as she wanted to help Tang Tang carry the water pitcher. The water pitcher was empty so it was very light. Tang Tang gave her one and held onto her other hand to go and get hot water from the water room.
After being abandoned, Ji Xiao Zhuo pouted and groaned unhappily. When he was about to go after them, he was stopped by Ji Yan, “Ji Xiao Zhuo, come here. I have a mission for you.”
When he heard the word ‘mission’, Ji Xiao Zhuo immediately stood up and ran to the bed. He gave a proper salute and spoke solemnly, “Yes sir!”
Satisfied with his salute, Ji Yan pulled the little one closer. He spoke quietly to Xiao Zhuo’s ear about the matter he wanted the little one to do.
Ji Xiao Zhuo went silent for two minutes after listening. There was unhappiness in his eyes, but for Nuo Nuo he still nodded to agree. He promised to complete the mission.
When Tang Tang came back with Nuo Nuo, Ji Xiao Zhuo went to hold Nuo Nuo’s hand and ran out with her. Their figures vanished quickly.
Tang Tang was at a loss. She rubbed her head while asking, “What’s wrong with Bao Bao? Where is he taking Nuo Nuo?”
Ji Yan didn’t answer. Instead, he reached out to pull Tang Tang closer and rubbed her head, “Why are you rubbing your head? Did you bump into something?”
“Just now when I went to get water, I accidentally bumped into a nurse. My hair got tangled with her clothes. It took a long time to pull my hair away. My scalp hurts.”
Ji Yan frowned and got her to lower her head. After pushing aside her hair, he saw there was a red patch. It did seem like a lot of force was exerted.
Gently rubbing her head, Ji Yan instructed her, “Be more careful next time. There’s no need to rush.”
Tang Tang replied with a low ‘En’ sound. Truthfully, she didn’t rush. She also didn’t know where that nurse suddenly came from and bumped into her. Maybe the nurse had something urgent to do.
At this moment, a few strands of Tang Tang’s hair was getting tested at an unknown location.
When Tang Tang’s scalp didn’t hurt as much, she carried on asking Ji Yan about where Ji Xiao Zhuo had taken Nuo Nuo. Ji Yan didn’t plan to hide it from her and told her everything.
Tang Tang blanked for a while. After a long time, she asked, “Would Nuo Nuo’s mother take Nuo Nuo away with her?”
Ji Yan stroked her cheeks, “She won’t. Her current family wouldn’t be able to accept Nuo Nuo. Also, Wen Zhang Yi would not give away Nuo Nuo’s custody.”
Instantly, Tang Tang’s mood went down. Her chest felt stuffy and she mumbled, “If my daughter suffered like this, I would definitely take her away even if I would need to separate from my current husband. How can she be so heartless?”
But not everyone had the same thoughts as her and Ji Yan knew she wouldn’t understand it even if he said it, so he patted her to comfort, “It doesn’t matter. We’ll look after Nuo Nuo from now on and we’ll support her. No one will dare to bully her again.”
Tang Tang nodded vigorously, “From now on, I will make Nuo Nuo’s meals and I’ll buy her clothes and toys. She will not have to be envious of other children. I have my own business now. Even though it doesn’t make much money, it’s plenty to raise one Nuo Nuo.”
Ji Yan smiled as warmth filled his heart. He liked her honesty and kindness. Meeting Tang Tang, it was like all suffering could be soothed. He was finally able to receive happiness that he hadn’t experienced for a very long time.
Nuo Nuo’s biological mother arrived very quickly and without any warning. On that day, a young-looking woman, wearing a black jacket, knocked on the ward’s door. Her voice couldn’t conceal her nervousness, “Hello, I’m looking for Wen Nuo.”
Tang Tang was surprised, “You are?”
The woman pushed her hair behind her ears and introduced herself unnaturally, “I’m Yan Xiao Qing, Wen Nuo’s mother. Someone called me to come here to find my daughter.”
Tang Tang widened her eyes abruptly. She was shocked by the fact Nuo Nuo’s biological mother had come.
Seeing Tang Tang didn’t speak, Yan Xiao Qing asked again, “Excuse me, is Nuo Nuo here?”
Ji Yan replied on behalf of Tang Tang, “Nuo Nuo is here. She just went out to play. She’ll be back very soon. Come in and take a seat.”
The woman bit her lips. After she entered the room, she uncertainly asked Ji Yan who was lying on the bed, “You were the one who was looking for me?”
Ji Yan nodded faintly and went straight to the point, “I will arrange someone to lead you there later. Do you know what you should say when you see Wen Zhang Yi and Liu Zi Xuan?”
After hearing those two names, anger flashed across Yan Xiao Qing’s eyes. She replied coldly, “Don’t worry, I know what to say.”
Once she finished speaking, footsteps were heard. Ji Xiao Zhuo ran in like a gust of wind. He was holding a stick of sugar-coated hawthorns, “Mummy, look, great-grandpa bought us sugar-coated hawthorn! It’s extremely red!”
Nuo Nuo was also holding a stick of sugar-coated hawthorn as she ran in from behind. She also showed Tang Tang the hawthorns.
Both children were beaming.
The moment the children entered, Yan Xiao Qing’s sight was locked on the little girl. She observed the little girl carefully from head to toe. She saw the little girl’s thin body. Her arms shook under her sleeves and her eyes reddened. When she saw the hearing aid, it was like a string had snapped as tears started falling. She was choking with sobs and threw herself in front of the little girl, “Nuo Nuo.”
Nuo Nuo froze. The confusion in her eyes gradually disappeared. It appeared she knew who the woman was. The smile on Nuo Nuo’s face left as she looked at the woman with a tranquil expression.
There was no surprise, fright, or nervousness, only calmness.
But that sort of calmness made everyone else upset. Tang Tang couldn’t watch it anymore and turn away.
Yan Xiao Qing wanted to hug her daughter but didn’t dare to reach her hands out. Her arms were lifted but she didn’t know what to do. The unfamiliarity in the child’s eyes was too obvious which made her not dare to touch her.
This was her daughter who she carried in her womb to full term. There was once when she looked forward to her birth. There was once when she really loved her daughter and wanted to give her the best but everything changed.
Originally, she thought she had forgotten everything after so many years. But seeing the little girl now, the concern and guilt she felt came rushing out from a hidden corner in her heart.
“Nuo Nuo, I am … I’m your mummy.”
Nuo Nuo didn’t plan to pay attention to her. She walked to Tang Tang’s side and hugged her legs. It looked like she was trying to hide.
Tang Tang couldn’t handle how unsettled the little girl was and immediately lifted her up and pacified her, “Nuo Nuo, don’t be scared. Auntie is here.”
Nuo Nuo nodded and buried her head into Tang Tang’s shoulder.
Seeing this, Yan Xiao Qing’s tears fell even more. The hate she buried in her heart rushed forth. If it wasn’t for Wen Zhang Yi and Liu Zi Xuan, she wouldn’t have become like a dog and be forced to flee to a faraway place! She hadn’t even seen her biological daughter since!
The reason she came this time, half of it was for raising money for her son and the other half was to help Nuo Nuo. Consider it as her compensation.
Ji Yan had no interest in Yan Xiao Qing’s tears but he did not want it to cause the children to be hurt. He spoke to interrupt Yan Xiao Qing’s weeping, “Alright now, you can take Nuo Nuo and go. There will be someone to protect you so you don’t need to be afraid of the Liu family’s threats. Just say what we’ve agreed on.”
Yan Xiao Qing wiped her tears and nodded. She took a last look at Nuo Nuo before turning to leave.
Tang Tang put Nuo Nuo down and Ji Xiao Zhuo immediately guided her out by hand, “Don’t be afraid and come with me. No one will dare to treat you badly.”
Nuo Nuo nodded lightly. Then, she got pulled along by Ji Xiao Zhuo to follow Yan Xiao Qing from behind. But after a few steps, she looked back at Tang Tang and Ji Yan. It was like she was afraid she wouldn’t be able to see them again.
Tang Tang’s eyes turned red from the little girl’s stare. She wanted to follow but Ji Yan had said they must not appear in this matter. So she could only restrain herself and wait anxiously for their return.
Seeing her so unsettled, Ji Yan held onto her hand tightly, “Don’t worry. They’ll be back soon.”
How could Tang Tang not worry? What should they do if the Liu family wasn’t willing to give in to Yan Xiao Qing’s threats? Would the two children get bullied?
“I sent someone to protect them. The Liu family won’t touch a single hair on the children. Also, even if the Liu family isn’t willing, they’ll still need to compensate. Otherwise, it won’t be as simple as letting them bleed a little.” With the promotions so close, whether it was Wen Zhang Yi or the Liu family, they do not want any bad scandals to come to light. If the Liu family wanted peace, they could only spend money.
Tang Tang didn’t fully understand all the twists and turns involved. This was an invisible game of politics. She couldn’t intervene or help with anything. She could only pray for the children’s safe return.
The nervousness lasted until evening when the children finally returned. Both of them threw themselves at Tang Tang when they entered the room. They hugged a leg each. It was like they hadn’t seen Tang Tang for a very long time.
Tang Tang had the same feeling and missed them dearly. She bent down and embraced both children and gave them both kisses, “Nothing happened to you two, right?”
Patting his chest, Ji Xiao Zhuo replied, “Of course we’re fine. They’re the ones who are not. Mummy, did you know Nuo Nuo’s bad stepmom and step grandma lost this afternoon? Both of them were so angry that their faces became ugly”
“Really? Then is Nuo Nuo and Bao Bao happy?”
“Happy! Nuo Nuo got her revenge.” Excited could be used to describe Ji Xiao Zhuo at the moment.
There was also happiness in Nuo Nuo’s expression. She nodded at Tang Tang like a little chick pecking rice.
She was also happy.
Tang Tang gave them both a kiss again and felt the rock in her heart had been lifted.
Envy flashed across Yan Xiao Qing’s eyes but it quickly disappeared. She passed the various certificates that the Liu family gave to Ji Yan, “These are the things the Liu family gave. Nuo Nuo is too young so a lot of things can’t be transferred to her yet. When Nuo Nuo is of age, they will belong to Nuo Nuo.”
Ji Yan looked over the documents that were signed by the Liu family and the proof from the lawyers. After confirming there were no issues, he looked up and said, “The money will be transferred to your account tomorrow.”
Yan Xiao Qing hesitated and probed, “Can I … Can I speak to Nuo Nuo alone?”
Ji Yan didn’t agree or disagree. He only said, “You shouldn’t ask us that question. Ask Nuo Nuo. If she agrees, then you can.”
In response, Yan Xiao Qing looked at Nuo Nuo immediately but Nuo Nuo buried her head into Tang Tang’s embrace. She wasn’t willing to spare a glance at her.
The light in Yan Xiao Qing’s eyes gradually disappeared. She opened her mouth like she wanted to say something but she closed her mouth in the end. She looked at Nuo Nuo in Tang Tang’s embrace before turning to leave while holding her tears back. When she stepped out of the ward, she couldn’t hold it anymore and cried bitterly.
Goodbye, my daughter. Mummy can only do this for you. Maybe we won’t ever see each other again, but I hope you will be well.